Friday, May 8, 1998
Solo strike for Lim
By Quah Seng Sun
I CAN safely say that in all the 25 years of the Malaysian Chess Federation's existence, the handful of local players in the World Chess Federation's international rating list had the MCF to be thankful for.
If not for the MCF having organised international rating tournaments on our shores or sent our players to play in international events, they would surely not have obtained their international ratings on their own accord.
Take, for example, the recently concluded Asian cities team chess championship in Genting Highland, Pahang. Ahmad Maliki and Ng Tze Han were the two local players to meet the minimum criterion for obtaining their first international ratings. Could they have done so without the MCF giving them the opportunity to play in this event? I very much doubt it.
In the wake of what I have just written, the feat of Lim Chin Lee is, therefore, of great significance to Malaysian chess. Lim, on his own initiative, took part in a rating tournament at the second New Hampstead chess festival in England last March and came away a joint winner of the event.
The New Hampstead chess festival comprised three tournaments: a grandmaster event, an international master event and a rating event. Lim approached the organisers of the chess festival and was accepted into the rating tournament. This was a 10-player round-robin event with four rated players in the field.
According to Lim, he was surprised to win the tournament. He admitted to being very lucky. Lim played with unrated opponents in the first five rounds and his score of 4 1/2 points gave him confidence.
"I beat the lowest rated player (Angus James) in the sixth round, then drew with Adam Raoof in the seventh round. I am quite happy with that because I had lost to him in last year's British Rapid Play tournament," Lim said.
"My loss to Ben Savage, who is from Oxford University, frustrated me because if I had beaten him I would have secured my sole first placing.
"However, I managed to beat Marcus Osbourne in the last round. He was the highest rated player in the event.... I never expected to get first place. My initial target was just to get a rating," he said.
So who is this Lim Chin Lee?
He is a first-year mechanical engineering student at the Britain's University of Leeds. He claims to be a "chess maniac" and has just been appointed captain of his university's chess team. Some readers will have recognised him as one of Klang's home-grown players.
In 1994, he was the under-18 winner of the national age-group tournament in Shah Alam. This earned him a trip to Szeged in Hungary later in the year, where he took part in the under-18 section of the World Age-Group tournament.
Lim had also played in the Malaysian Schools Sports Council's chess championship in 1994, where he helped Selangor to win the under-20 team title.
His last event in Malaysia, before he left for England, was last year's Merdeka team chess championship in which his team, Independent Star, took the fourth prize.
Lim's future chess-playing plans will depend greatly on how he can juggle chess with his studies.
"If there are tournaments during my holidays, then most probably I won't miss the opportunity to play," he said. "My next target is to increase my rating so that I can participate in the IM tournament."
May 9-11: Chess Association of Selangor (CAS) inter-team tournament for institutions of higher learning in the Klang Valley
May 16-17: Royal Selangor juniors open tournament (under-12, under-16 and under-20 age categories)
May 23-24: CAS silver jubilee blitz tournament
May 27-31: Royal Selangor silver jubilee open chess tournament
May 30-31: Sakura Selangor junior girls tournament
Contact persons: Mrs Jackie Wong (03-703 8237) or Lim Tse Pin (03-733 0927). Sponsors are Royal Selangor, Sakura Cafe and Cuisine, and Sunway College.
THE Penang Chess Association will organise the eighth Penang Bayview Chess League starting June 7 at The City Bayview Hotel.
The hotel, which donated an 18in pewter challenge trophy worth RM6,000 in 1993, will sponsor the use of their premises for the championship which shall be played on Sundays until mid-August.
Only teams which legitimately represent the public and private sectors, institutions of learning and registered associations, societies and clubs are allowed to play in the league.
A guest player may be included in each team, but the other players in the team must strictly be employees, students or members of the organisation which they represent.
In the past, the organisers have recognised that there were several players who were interested to play in the league but could not do so because they were not accepted as guest players in any of the teams.
For this year's event, the organisers are requesting that these players contact the PCA immediately. If the response is encouraging enough, the PCA will consider grouping them together to play under the association's banner.
Provision has been made for about 24 teams to take part, and each team is allowed up to eight players. However, only four players from each team will play in every round.
This year's event will again be split into three divisions. The third division will comprise teams of mainly novice players, while the first and second divisions will be made up of the more regular teams that have been taking part in previous chess leagues.
Entry fees are RM150 per team and cash prizes are guaranteed for the top teams in each of the three divisions. Closing date for entries is May 30, and a managers' meeting will take place at the hotel on June 3 at 8pm.
For more details, contact Goh Yoon Wah (04-644 5687), Ooi Kiem Boo (04-826 3764) or Eoh Hook Kim (04-826 0196) in the evenings. Chess enthusiasts can contact Quah Seng Sun via e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org). His chess articles are archived at Malaysia On-Line which readers can visit at http://www.mol.com.my